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Current 93 - Soft Black Stars CD (album) cover

SOFT BLACK STARS

Current 93

Prog Folk


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Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars David Tibet and Nick Cave seem to have been on a similar musical wavelength in the mid-to-late 1990s: not only did Cave provide guest vocals on All the Pretty Little Horses, but also both Cave and Tibet ended up releasing albums which found them vocalising over sparse, melancholic piano-focused tunes in a creative departure from their previous work. Though Cave got his experiment in this vein out first in the form of The Boatman's Call, Tibet takes it further with Current 93's Soft Black Stars, creating a haunting atmosphere that Cave's No More Shall We Part would later only just manage to approach.

As well as providing a major gear shift from the preceding neofolk-oriented albums, the new musical style also manages to bring out the best in David Tibet's voice, on perhaps his most tender and affecting vocal performance yet. Lyrically it is also very strong, with Tibet's clever sense of humour shown here and there on pieces like A Gothic Love Song and a poetic style which makes him perhaps one of the great unsung heroes of recent songwriting. Thematically, Tibet keeps things deeply personal for the most part, with nods here and there to his then-current obsessions. (For instance, he's still clearly under the spell of Thomas Ligotti, given that the title is taken from a phrase in a Ligotti story.)

Like nothing before it in the Current 93 discography, Soft Black Stars is an instant classic of piano-focused singer- songwriter poetry.

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Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2016 | Review Permalink

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